The Learning Season: Mariam Abuhaideri

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mariam Abuhaideri, mass communications and global studies major, served as an intern with two organizations in Washington: Nonviolence International and Human Rights Action Center.

Mariam Abuhaideri, mass communications and global studies major, served as an intern with two organizations in Washington: Nonviolence International and Human Rights Action Center.She has also led research for a documentary on Jack Healey, who is the founder and director of HRAC and is a former executive director of Amnesty International USA.

After graduation in August, she will be heading to the border of Thailand and Burma.

“It’s basically to learn about the refugee camps and hold workshops for the people there so our delegation members can learn more about them.  I intend to eventually document my experiences,” she said.

Abuhaideri said she has made many valuable connections while working for the advocacy groups.

“I underestimated the large network of human rights activists there is in the United States. It is a small organization from the outside, but there is a huge umbrella that is out there that includes so many people and groups,” she said. “I have met so many people that I hope might be able to help me reach my goals of getting into law school or becoming an international journalist.”

Abuhaideri has also served as a videographer and editor for The Washington Stakeout, a news Web site that interviews political figures.

She has shot video footage of Texas Sen. John Cornyn and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“I think we’re doing what the mainstream media should be doing – we’re asking the hard questions. The public needs these questions answered,” she said.

Abuhaideri said that her summer activities have broadened her perspective of the world and how its people interact.

“We need to look beyond where we are currently to see that this world is flat, as [New York Times columnist and author] Thomas Friedman says. The world really is very interconnected and we can all have more of an impact by working together.”